Hinds Community College celebrates Homecoming Oct. 2-5 with alumni activities on three of those days.
On Wednesday, Oct. 2, Hinds alumni from the college class of 1969 and classes from prior years will be have a get-together at 10 a.m. at Fountain Hall.
On Thursday, Oct. 3, the Alumni Recognition Dinner honoring Alumnus of the Year Mark Chaney, Alumni Service Award Recipient Dr. Dan Hogan and the 2019 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees including Jimmy and Jerry Clark, Lashea Leggett, Chris Santa Cruz, Katherine McMahan Walker and Debbie Trebotich will begin at 5 p.m. at Mayo Fieldhouse.
The 7 p.m. game against Coahoma Community College features the Homecoming Court, crowing of the queen and performances of the Hinds Community College Eagles band, Hi-Steppers and Alumni Hi-Steppers at Gene Murphy Field at Joe Renfroe Stadium in Raymond.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Alumni Tennis Tournament will be held at the Cleon McKnight Tennis Center on the Raymond Campus. Play begins at 9 a.m. For information, call Jacki Millet at 601.857.3564.
For tickets to the Alumni Dinner or more information, call 601.857.3363.
Mark Chaney’s devotion to Hinds Community College started early and continues strong today.
Chaney, who has been named the 2019 Alumnus of the Year, is a native of Bovina in Warren County. He transferred to the University of Mississippi at the end of his second year without technically graduating from Hinds.
But, he was so determined to have a Hinds credential that he transferred credits back so the record would reflect his Hinds degree. Although that’s common today, in 1950 it was fairly unusual.
His devotion is especially remarkable for someone who didn’t have the best start at Hinds. He went out for football, damaging his knee and immediately ending any hopes of a football career.
“But they were so nice at Hinds to provide me an additional half scholarship by letting me clean up after classes. I was so lucky that the area they assigned me to clean up was the home ec department,” Chaney said.
That job also made him popular in Shangri-La, the residence hall where he lived, because that meant extra food for him and his buddies. Despite going home most weekends to help on the family farm, Chaney was able to get involved in campus activities. He was vice president of his class. He spent two years in the International Relations Club sponsored by the legendary coach Jobie Harris, including serving as president.
“That was one of the things I thoroughly enjoyed, being with him and being active in the club,” Chaney said. He was among delegates of the club who represented the college at a convention in Atlanta, an experience he still relishes.
After finishing an education degree from Ole Miss, Chaney taught and coached one year in Durant. Both parents, Mark and Maud Chaney, were educators so the field was a natural for him. But in trying to provide for his growing family, Chaney decided to go into a new line of work, with oil and gas companies.
He was the district marketing manager for Citgo Oil Co. for 15 years, working mostly in Florida. “I kept asking to be transferred to Mississippi. My parents were getting older and needed help on the farm,” he said.
He landed in Columbus for a few years before he decided he needed to return home for good. He got a job with Lion Oil Co. and moved his family back to Bovina.
Back home again, he entered into public service. He was elected to the Warren County School Board, then to a term as a state representative, from 1972-1976, and then Warren County Chancery Clerk, serving from 1976-1984.
He later worked as an attendance counselor for the Vicksburg Warren School District, was a licensed real estate broker and a cattle farmer. But one constant throughout his years has been involvement in Hinds Community College.
As a state representative, he worked on legislation to help with establishing vocational-technical programs.
As chancery clerk, “I had the opportunity to help Hinds a lot, keeping up with county funds that went to Hinds. We were always able to keep those invested,” he said.
His greatest contribution to the college may have come when he was vice president of the Warren County School Board, before 1987 when the county and school districts merged. In this role, Chaney was instrumental in helping to secure the land where the Vicksburg-Warren Campus now sits. He was among bidders for a piece of land that had been foreclosed on by a bank and was up for auction. The board had authorized a certain amount, but a counter-bidder pushed the bids over the limit.
Representatives continued bidding, however, and got the land. “We topped it. We were over the amount that we were authorized to bid,” he said. “If it hadn’t been for the fact that we went above what we were authorized to do, none of this would be here.”
Since then, he has served terms as president of the Alumni Association, established a scholarship in his parents’ names and continued to attend many Hinds Community College events, including the annual 50+ lunch and the Clyde Donnell and Othel Mendrop Memorial Golf Tournament.
“Mr. Chaney still comes to campus to see the progress we are making for the Vicksburg-Warren community,” said Vice President Marvin Moak. “His passion for the community and his dedication for the campus are simply unbelievable. He has always worked to ensure the campus is serving the community needs.
“For the Chaney family, education at Hinds Community College and the Vicksburg-Warren Campus he helped establish are so important. Both his son David and daughter-in-law, Kay, dedicated their careers to teaching on it.”
Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse has known Chaney since he was in the Legislature.
“Mark Chaney has been, as long as I can remember, very supportive of Hinds. He is very deserving of this award,” Muse said. “He has exhibited that love for Hinds through his family and through a scholarship he has funded. When we started going to the Board of Supervisors asking them to levy the millage for the new George-Oakes Building in Vicksburg, he was right there in the middle of it, supporting it.”
In May, the auditorium in the Loviza Building on the Hinds Vicksburg-Warren Campus was named in his honor.
“Hinds has done a lot for me, and I like to return the favor,” he said. “You don’t do things for recognition. You try to do it for education, for something that would be worthwhile for the community,” Chaney said.
“I’m certainly blessed to be considered or that Hinds would bestow on me.”
Dr. Dan Hogan
RAYMOND – Retired Hinds Community College Vice President Dr. Dan Hogan remembers what it was like trying to finish college degrees on very little money.
The memory of those hard times is why Hogan, of Raymond, the 2019 Alumni Service Award recipient, believes in the Hinds Community College Foundation. “When I was starting out, I didn’t have very much,” he recalled. “I worked so I could get tuition money together.”
Then, he and his wife, retired Jackson elementary school administrator Dr. Barbara Hogan, got married and she finished her degree at Millsaps College so she could begin teaching. Three years later, Dan Hogan was able to go back to college.
“It was not easy at times, financially. You never know what keeps a person from proceeding in their education, and it shouldn’t be money. If there is a way to help somebody, and we can do it, we should do it. The Foundation is the best way to do it,” he said.
Hogan started working at Hinds in 1974 as a math instructor and retired in 2007 as a vice president, with numerous other positions in between. His involvement in Hinds, however, has never waned.
Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse said Hogan was one of the first people he met when he became president in 1978.
“Every board he has ever served on and every activity he has worked on have just been perfect,” Muse said. “The Hogans continue to attend many Hinds Community College events. They have funded a math scholarship through the Foundation. And as Foundation board treasurer, Hogan helps shepherd the college’s involvement in the New Market Tax Credit program that is funding the newly opened George-Oakes Building on the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, as well as equipment.
“Dan Hogan is the epitome of an outstanding board member,” said Jackie Granberry, executive director of the Hinds Community College Foundation. “It is obvious he believes in our mission and supports the Foundation with his time, talents and resources.
“When the Foundation entered into the New Market Tax Credit program to construct the George-Oakes Building at Vicksburg, he had to sign hundreds of documents. We even gave him a wrist brace, as a joke, when he finished,” she said. “He also supports the Foundation with gifts in honor/memory of current and retired Hinds employees. These gifts keep on giving by helping our students and faculty.”
In his years at Hinds, Hogan was involved in many important projects – helping to start the Professional Development Institute, shepherding the start of online classes and bringing in more technology and teaching employees how to use it.
One of the biggest projects he was involved with was overseeing reaccreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
“That was a good challenge,” he said, laughing. “It was a big thing to get that behind us. We got through that visit without any problem.”
Retired English instructor Beverly Fatherree worked with Hogan and others on accreditation in 2005.
“The real test of a professional at Hinds is how he handles a huge SACSCOC reaccreditation review, and Hogan was the man for that job,” she said. “Though there were some tense moments during that long process, I never saw Dan lose his temper, react impatiently or behave in any way other than the consummate professional he was and is.”
But even with the number of meaningful projects he worked on for the college as a whole, Hogan said his heart was always in the math department. “I could have stayed right there in the math department for all my career and been just as happy,” he said. “I took the opportunities as they came along. Doing that, I got to work with lots of great people.”
Jeff Hughes, mathematics curriculum coordinator, has known Hogan as a colleague for more than 30 years.
“He clearly communicated his vision and inspired those around him. Everyone I know has a tremendous amount of respect for Dan. He has always been committed to Hinds and our mission,” Hughes said. Hogan has always “had a heart for service,” Hughes said.
“Although he knows a tremendous amount of higher-level mathematics and challenged our ‘cream of the crop’ students, he could also be seen helping our developmental students struggling to master fractions,” Hughes said.
Hogan has been recognized by Hinds many times. In 2007, he was named the recipient of the 3E Award – Emphasis on Excellence and Enrichment. In 2015, he was named Vice President Emeritus. In 2017, he was among the 100 People Passionate about Hinds Community College, something he values as a “tremendous honor.”
“I worked with so many good people and I have to give them credit, not take the credit for myself,” he said. “Hinds is, of course, where my heart is,” Hogan said. “It is such an important institution, not just in this area but to the whole state. I can’t do a whole lot, but I want to do what I can.”
Jimmy and Jerry Clark
Identical twins Jimmy and Jerry Clark, proved to be stellar athletes at Hinds when they were recruited by Coach Joe Renfroe in 1961.
The Clarks, natives of DeRidder, La., moved to Yazoo City for their senior year of high school. There, they earned all-state honors in track and field – setting the state record in the mile relay along the way – and played running back and cornerback on the football team. Each also started on the basketball team, with Jerry earning first-team all-conference and Jimmy, the team captain, leading the team in free throw percentage.
On arrival at Hinds, the Clarks were dubbed “Sleet” and “Snow” by their head coach, though it was debatable which was which, even the nickname. Each played wide receiver for the Eagles, with Renfroe allowing them to substitute for each other on their own.
As members of the mile relay teams on the track, they set state records both years at Hinds. In the spring 1963, the Hinds thinclads, keyed by the Clark twins, won their first Mississippi Junior College track crown in four years. In the final meet, Jerry won the broad jump and tied for second in the long jump. Each helped the mile relay team finish second.
At Mississippi State University, the Clarks ran all the relay events and the 440-yard dash for a squad that competed regularly for the Southeastern Conference track title. After college, Jimmy coached football in Hattiesburg, Laurel and Pascagoula before working for the Chevron Oil Refinery for 30 years. Jerry became a teacher, coach and driver’s education instructor at Pascagoula High School, as well as starting several successful businesses, including Clark’s Fire Protection and Dry Ice.
Jimmy lives in Moss Point and is married to the former Mary K. Jones, with whom he has two sons and four grandchildren. Jerry died in 2008 and is survived by three children and three grandchildren.
Lashea Leggett thrived as a two-sport star for Hinds’ tennis and softball team in the 1990s.
Leggett, a Jackson native, hit the tennis courts running for Coach Cleon McKnight, posting a 16-1 record in both singles and doubles matches and earning her all-state and all-region honors for 1994. The women’s tennis team won the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges title and advanced to the National Junior College Athletics Association championships in Tucson, Ariz. There, she reached the semifinals and became the first All-American tennis player in Mississippi junior college history, male or female.
During her sophomore year, her athletic ability landed her the role of second base on the softball team for Coach Deborah Nichols. On the courts, she duplicated her all-state and all-region honors and led the team to a 17-0 mark and another trip to the national championships.
She graduated Hinds with a 3.7 GPA and attended Mississippi College, where she graduated cum laude. In recent years, she has run a successful massage therapist business, LaLaSpa, with two locations, in Madison and Ocean Springs.
Chris Santa Cruz
Described as solid in character off the field as well as on it, Chris Santa Cruz excelled playing linebacker at Hinds and at the next level.
Santa Cruz, a Lillian, Ala. native, was among key contributors on defense for the Hinds Eagles in 1980 and 1981, winning the Eagle Award and Most Valuable player award.
His efforts on the 1980 team were evident, as the Eagles went 6-4 and featured several defensive standouts.
In 1981, he cemented his solid contributions to the Eagle defense by winning the college’s awards and being among three defensive starters named to the South team in the Mississippi Junior College All-Star Game, which Hinds hosted. He and his fellow Eagles helped shut out the North squad, 21-0.
He moved on to East Carolina University, in Greenville, N.C., where he won the Norman Swindell Memorial Award in 1984 for leadership and character.
Today, Santa Cruz is employed by the Baldwin County Board of Education as a school bus diesel mechanic. He is married and has three children.
Katherine McMahan Walker
Katherine McMahan Walker was a two-time all-state and all-region player for Coach Cleon McKnight’s tennis teams of the mid-1990s.
Walker arrived at Hinds in 1996 at the urging of a friend and fellow member of the tennis team. She posted a 16-2 singles and doubles record and led the team to a top 10 ranking by season’s end.
She returned for another season, one that saw her level of play rise enough to go 21-0 on the court in singles and doubles. Her average score along the way was 6-0, 6-1, a near-shutout in terms of tennis scoring. The team finished sixth in the nation, the highest final ranking ever for any team in Mississippi.
Her accomplishments on the court came as she earned a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. Already a team captain, she finished her Hinds athletic career by winning the Eagle Award for 1997. The honor recognizes outstanding student-athletes for achievement at school and in the community.
After Hinds, she earned a degree at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. while also continuing her tennis exploits. Twice, she was a key leader on teams that advanced to the NAIA national tennis championships. In 1998, she won All-American honors and took home the college’s J. Lambert Dorn Award, for academic and athletic excellence. She graduated summa cum laude from the college, then went to work for the University of Southern Mississippi where she currently works as a senior business analyst.
She lives in Sumrall and is married to Howard Walker, with whom she has three daughters. She has also volunteered her time with several organizations, including Junior Auxiliary of Hattiesburg and Temple Baptist Church.
All 2019 Hinds Sports Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at halftime of Hinds’ homecoming football game Oct. 3 versus Coahoma Community College. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. An Alumni Recognition Dinner honoring the inductees, the Alumni Service Award recipient and the Alumnus of the Year recipient will begin at 5 p.m. at Mayo Fieldhouse.
Also featured at halftime will be the Homecoming Court, crowing of the queen and performances of the Hinds Community College Eagles band, Hi-Steppers and Alumni Hi-Steppers at Gene Murphy Field at Joe Renfroe Stadium in Raymond.
For tickets or more information, contact Libby Posey at 601.857.3350.
On Oct. 5, the Alumni Tennis Tournament will be held at the Cleon McKnight Tennis Center on the Raymond Campus. Play begins at 9 a.m. For information, contact Jacki Millet at 601.857.3564.
Jackson native Debbie Trebotich lettered three years in basketball at St. Joseph High School, where she also set records in track and field events, in the high jump, broad jump and 50-yard dash.
She came to Hinds in 1968, playing two years at point guard for the Lady Eagles hoopsters, averaging 12 points and 15 assists a game. On the volleyball court, she led the team, coached by Rene’ Warren, to several tournament championships. She was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Women’s Recreational Association, which awarded her Athlete of the Year for 1970.
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she won MVP awards in basketball, volleyball, badminton, softball, and track and field. She received a master’s degree in physical education and special education from William Carey University.
After college, she coached high school girls’ basketball in Vancleave before moving to Houston, Texas, in 1980. There, she coached basketball, volleyball and track and field at several high schools over a nearly 40-year span.
In 2003, she won Most Outstanding Teacher award from the Harris County Department of Education and set up the school system’s first Special Olympics program. Two years later, she won Most Outstanding Coach for her work with Special Olympics in Houston. She has competed in Senior Olympics events in several states since 2000.